Whether blasting down the powdery peaks, or ripping through the once still water, riding a board evokes both chaos and thrill in the mind "a strong similarity that outweighs any differences these two sports may have.
Wakeboarding and snowboarding share many similarities in the aspect of motion and the resulting rush of adrenaline. They also have some likenesses in equipment, but for each piece that is the same there is another that is different. Because of the similarities found in the movement, the two sports appear to be one of the same, from the perspective of the average spectator. However, there are many differences, and unlike those of weather, location, and surface terrain, not all are obvious.
Obviously the most striking differences between these two sports are found as a result of the seasons during which they are enjoyed. The warmer weather of the wakeboarding season, along with the wet conditions, allows for a light choice of clothing such as a life jacket and board shorts. Whereas, the lover of snowboarding finds himself bundled tightly in multiple layers of clothing topped with a heavy coat and pants to block snow and wind. While the boards of these two sports may look alike to the untrained eye, they are quite different. In order to float on water the wakeboard is short, fat, and thick, with fins on the bottom that cut through the water. The snowboard, which has to prevent the rider from sinking into powder, is much longer, narrower and thinner with a smooth bottom made for gliding over the snow. The conditions during which one performs these sports are obviously a direct cause of the difference in materials and shape. .
The varying terrains are another factor that must be overcome in order to reach the same finish. While the types of tricks performed on these boards are similar, their starting positions are extremely different. The wakeboarder begins floating in the water, holding on to a rope that is securely tied to a tower, which is connected to the boat.